Improving a KLR650 with a Seat Concepts custom seat

I first met Lendon of Seat Concepts when the office was in a small warehouse in San Jacinto, California. At that time, the company had just started manufacturing molded foam replacements for motorcycle seats. Since most of its employees come from a motocross background, the company has a vested interest in creating comfortable seats.

Eighteen months later, I saw Lendon again at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ and was able to catch up on how the business has grown. Seat Concepts has moved to a larger warehouse and now manufactures not only the foam and seat covers, but the seat pans as well, for some of the most popular models of adventure motorcycle (such as the KLR650). He is swamped with orders these days, so I appreciate even more the time he spent with me during the installation of my custom Seat Concepts seat back in October 2012. I had visited the shop with my 2003 Kawasaki KLR650 just before leaving on a 16,000-mile journey from southern California to the tip of South America.

Ergonomics are a big part of preparing your motorcycle for long stretches of miles or lengths of time. Dialing in the right set-up is critical. Adjusting where your hands grip on the handlebars, where your feet rest on the footpegs, or where your rear end sits on the seat, is a personal venture. But you will know when it’s uncomfortable and needs to be changed. Your butt is most likely the first place to let you know. I have tried the stock seat, which my mass molded to its shape instead of the other way around. I have tried a Corbin flat seat, which was like vinyl wrapped plank of wood. Neither was very comfortable for longer than half a day. In searching for an auxiliary cushion, the only supplement I found was a sheepskin seat cover by Alaska Leather. Out of habit more than function, the sheepskin came with me to South America. It did not last to the end of the trip because it was worn thin by so many years of use.

Having a custom seat built was probably the best (and most comfort-conscious) decision I made for the journey. Read more >